Opinion: The Black Keys bring it home to Ohio

Megan Brown is a senior magazine journalism major and the opinion editor for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Megan Brown

This Friday the Black Keys will kick off their North American tour in Columbus with a Cleveland show on Saturday. Because the duo is native to Akron, I expect to see the crowd alive and very welcoming. 

As a long-time fan of the Black Keys, this will be my third, and hopefully not last, time seeing them in concert. My last two shows (2008 and 2013) were both held in Pittsburgh, so I’m very eager to see the excitement of the Ohio welcome in Cleveland. 

The Black Keys, consisting of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, launched their dark, trippy eighth studio album, “Turn Blue,” in May. The album was part old Black Keys and part trippy darkness, and it worked; It took their roots in blues and added a heaviness and psychedelia to it. The first track, “Weight of Love,” brings in deep guitar riffs with that heavy blues we’ve all missed. It’s mesmerizing and gives off Pink Floyd vibes. If you’re a die hard fan like me, you will understand what I’m saying with the example of the difference from their 2004 album “Rubber Factory” to 2011’s “El Camino.” Even though I admired “El Camino,” it brought up what seemed to be some cliche pop sounds. But even with all the comparisons of albums, we know they’re a strong rock ‘n’ roll band. 

And they’re that band that doesn’t give in to everything happening around them: They are the Black Keys and they like to play music. 

There’s also the fact that their live performances are full of life and grab the attention of every audience member. With the loud, heart-driven drumming and eerie guitar riffs, the mind connects directly with the music. The Black Keys is a band you have to see more than once. 

Rolling Stone magazine said the Black Keys has been working on this LP with co-producer Danger Mouse since 2008’s “Attack and Release.”

Let’s thank the Black Keys for their 1960’s soul and ongoing contributions to rock ‘n’ roll and welcome them back to Ohio.